POWER FROM THE PEOPLE
September 4, 2012
Peak oil and climate change dictate that we get society off fossil fuels, fast. But wind, solar, biofuels, hydropower each have major drawbacks compared to the versatility, ubiquity, and energy content of fossil fuels. It’s hard to see how we can honestly power the global economy renewable energy without blanketing the deserts with solar panels, carving up the ridgetops with wind turbines, and devoting a good portion of the world’s arable land to biofuels.
But instead of relying on national governments and multinational corporations to rebuild a (renewable!) centralized power infrastructure, what if each community produced the power it needed using local and regional resources? Is it even possible to “relocalize” energy?
Our latest book, Power From the People by energy expert Greg Pahl, decisively argues YES.
The second book in our Community Resilience Guides series with Chelsea Green Publishing, Power From the People illustrates how communities across the country are already generating their own energy at the local level. From citizen-owned wind turbines to co-op biofuel producers to community-wide initiatives combining multiple resources and technologies, Pahl outlines the steps necessary and plan, organize, finance and launch community energy projects.
The book showcases over 25 real-life examples, including:
- Ellensburg Community Solar Project in Washington, which helped the local utility expand its solar PV capacity four times by allowing households and businesses to invest directly in the system (and receive utility credit in return).
- Fox Islands Wind Project in Maine, which built three community-owned wind turbines that now save residents an average of $300 a year on their electric bills.
- Dane County in Wisconsin, which developed a system to process landfill-generated methane into compressed natural gas for fueling CNG vehicles.
- Gainesville, Florida, which avoided building a new coal-fired power plant by incentivizing local solar investments through an innovative “feed-in tariffs” and developing a wood-fired power plant running on waste wood from the regional paper and timber industries.
It’s been said that we must leave fossil fuels before they leave us. Power From the People shows how that might be done.
Take advantage of the special Friends of Post Carbon discount: Buy the book today at Chelsea Green Publishing with discount code PFTP.
A Kindle version will be available later in the month.